A few days ago I’ve celebrated my birthday! I definitely don’t feel my age since I’m still the energetic girl that I have always been with lots of passion and interests!

I would have loved to go out for my birthday, but we all don’t feel comfortable eating out because of the Pandemic.

My Birthday Dinner Table 2020

I actually don’t mind cooking for special occasions and enjoy it – My Artistic Outlet!

After cooking for so many holidays and birthdays I get more organized and know that it usually takes me two days to prepare and one day to setup.

I write a menu plan, but I always end up removing or adding a few dishes depending on what I have on hand.

Watch the Video of my Birthday Dinner table



Birthday Menu


Caprese Salad
Kani Salad
Cod Liver Salad
Wild Pink Salmon Salad
Deviled Smoked Salmon Eggs
Mediterranean Roasted Eggplant and Peppers with tortilla chips
Garlic Bread

Main dishes

Baked Wild Shrimp Scampi
Wild Scallops in Lemon Garlic sauce

Fall-of-the-bone BBQ Baby Back ribs with broccoli and carrots


Ricotta Blueberry Cake
Creme Brulee
Seasonal Fruit

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad my bday 2020

How to make Caprese Salad

Tomatoes, fresh basil, and fresh mozzarella.

Good quality Olive oil, minced basil, diced garlic, lemon juice, salt/pepper.

Cod Liver Salad

Cod liver salad bday 2020

From the bottom layer:

  • shredded boiled potatoes
  • green onion
  • cod liver can
  • eggs mixed with mayo and dill.

Mediterranean Roasted Eggplant and Peppers served with baked tortilla chips

Ingredients:  sliced onion, garlic, eggplant, colorful peppers, and tomatoes.

Splash with Olive oil and season with Za’atar, Sumac, Garlic powder, and Parmesan Cheese.

Roast in Preheated at 400F oven for 25 – 35 minutes.

Add more Olive oil and a splash of salad, rice or wine vinegar.

Deviled Smoked Salmon Eggs

Deviled Smoked Salmon eggs

Since the biggest problem with deviled eggs is peeling them, I use my Instant Pot to cook the eggs. Then the peeling process takes no time at all!!!

I just mix the egg yolks with cream cheese, minced dill, and salt/pepper. Smoked Salmon shaped into roses on top, sliced cucumber and radish to decorate.

Easy, right?

Kani Salad

Kani Salad

How to make Kani Salad:

– 1 medium cucumber, sliced into match stick pieces or use Mandoline Slicer
– 1 medium carrot, sliced into match stick pieces or use Mandoline Slicer
– 3 to 4 pieces imitation crab meat sticks (rub between hands to separate)
– 1 Tbsp. Japanese Style Panko Seasoned bread crumbs
– 1 Tbsp. toasted Sesame seeds plus more to sprinkle on top
– 1 Tbsp. of Yum-Yum sauce (mayonnaise-based dipping sauce)
– 1 Tbsp. of Wasabi sauce (if too spicy, use less)
– Lumpfish caviar/roe on top

Wild Pink Salmon salad

Wild Pink Salmon salad

This was a last-minute decision.


  • Wild Pink Salmon can
  • Celery
  • Green onion
  • Dill
  • Mayo
  • Mustard
  • salad greens

Baked Shrimp Scampi

Baked Shrimp Scampi

Click here for the recipe

Wild Scallops in Lemon Garlic Sauce

Scallops in garlic sauce

How to make Scallops in Lemon Garlic Sauce


  • wild scallops 1 1/2 pound bag
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • half squeezed lemon
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • chopped parsley
  • salt/pepper to taste


Pat dry scallops. Make sure they are room temperature and completely dry.

Heat olive oil and butter in a large pan skillet over medium-high heat until hot.

Add the scallops in a single layer, make sure not to overcrowd.

Season with salt and pepper to and cook for 2-3 minutes on one side without touching.

Flip and cook for 2 minutes on the other side. Remove to a warm plate.

Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Then add lemon juice and wine. 

Stir for a minute and add scallops back to the pan.

Garnish with parsley and serve.

Fall-of-the-bone BBQ Baby Back ribs with broccoli and carrots

Fall-of-the-bone BBQ Baby Back ribs with broccoli and carrots

Click here for the recipe


I have to share my INCREDIBLE BUY FROM AMAZON, the set of Oval-shaped serving platters that you see above!

I can’t tell you how happy I am with this recent purchase.

It took me such a long time to narrow down my search. I love the OVAL shape since it works perfectly with just about any food. And these plates are not completely flat, you can serve dishes with sauces! 

This set includes 3 different sizes which make it so flexible. I’ve used all 3!

Love the quality as well, not too light and not heavy to handle, just perfect weight china serving platters! 

You can buy them by clicking below. 


Blueberry Ricotta Cake

Natasha's Kitchen Blueberry Ricotta Cake

Blueberry Ricotta Cake Before and After

I usually bake one of my family’s favorite cakes, but I had Ricotta cheese on hand and was looking for a recipe that would list it as one of the ingredients. I was so happy to come by this AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS cake from Natasha’s Kitchen!

My family LOVED it! The taste is something between a cheesecake and a pound cake which was so smooth and tasty! A keeper recipe for sure! 

Instant Pot Creme Brulee

Instant Pot Creme Brulee

One recipe I was dying to try is making Creme Brulee at home!

We have ordered it a few times on the cruise but it was too sugary for our taste. 

And I happen to have a TORCH now since I have used it for a couple of pouring paintings to create Cells! I have this inexpensive one that works so well. Another great buy!

This recipe is perfect and super easy to make in Instant Pot! 


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • dash of salt
  • sugar for caramelizing tops (last step)

Whisk together all ingredients, except the sugar.

Make sure it is smooth and blended.

Pour into six 4oz ramekins and cover each with foil. I didn’t have small ramekins, need to buy note to self, so I have used 4 large ones, too large for this recipe. 

Cover and cook on High Pressure for 6 minutes.

Natural Release 10 minutes. 

Remove and discard the foil and refrigerate the creme brulee for at least 2 hours.

Now you ready to TORCH! 

Add 1 tablespoon of sugar on top of the custard.

Use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar until it’s nice and brown.

Refrigerate until it’s ready to serve.

You will absolutely love the light taste of this custard!

Seasonal Fruit

Seasonal Fruit

My crew loved the setting and the food!


I always feel like my tables look so empty no matter how many dishes I place there. 


My dining room table sits 8 people comfortably, but it’s usually just the 4 of us having special dinners there.

Unfortunately, my father-in-law can’t eat with us. He had a very rare disease called Amyloidosis, where your proteins don’t get dissolved. In many cases, it affects your vital organs and you die. In his case, it affected his tongue that grew rapidly. 

I used to take him for years for Chemo treatments and they Helped, plus he had a tongue reconstruction surgery, plus diabetes, so he can’t eat like normal people. 

Sorry for gory details, but this is LIFE! We all have issues we deal with. 

There is no Perfection in life, only Compromises! 

But, having a GOOD ATTITUDE is the KEY in life! You make the best of any given situation.

You celebrate, you smile, you make sure that people around you are having a good time! 

I spread my “fairy dust” of positivity in everything I do! 

Anya Birthday 2020

I appreciate all the kind words and warm wishes I have received from my friends on my birthday! Thank you!

I hope you will enjoy these recipes as much as my family does!  

If you use and like any of the recipes, please let me know! I love getting feedback!

4 Responses to My Birthday Dinner 2020, Tablescape and Recipes
  1. Avatar

    Happy Birthday Anna! Love all your dishes and table set! Thank you for sharing your recipies

  2. Avatar

    Happy Birthday, Anna! Love the presentation of the food and the recipes look amazing! Thank you so much in sharing your talent!


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